Brooklyn College student Eugene Shenderov, 21, a senior in the College’s prestigious B.A.-M.D. program, has been awarded a 2005 Rhodes Scholarship. Shenderov, twenty-one, learned Saturday night after a full day of interviews with the District II Selection Committee of the Rhodes Trust that he will be among those traveling to Oxford in October 2005, making him the second Brooklyn College student and the fifth student from the City University of New York ever to receive what is undoubtedly the most famous scholarship in the world.

Besides Shenderov, City College of New York’s Lev Sviridov has been named among the thirty-two Rhodes Scholars selected this year from the United States. The scholars were chosen from 904 applicants representing 341 colleges and universities. Rhodes Scholarships, the oldest of the international study awards available to American students, provide for two or three years of study at Oxford. With all expenses paid (including travel), this averages out to an annual stipend of approximately $35,000 per student.

It will be a return visit to Oxford for Shenderov, who spent the previous summer in the historic English town on a Furman Undergraduate Travel Grant from Brooklyn College. From June through August, Shenderov worked as a tumor immunology research assistant at John Radcliffe Hospital with Dr. Enzo Cerundolo at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine University at Oxford. Shenderov intends to earn a doctorate in immunology, with a specialty in cancer research.

“We are thrilled,” said Brooklyn College President Christoph M. Kimmich. “Eugene is a winner—an outstanding student, active in the College and the community, with a wide range of interests. For him, as for so many immigrants who preceded him here, Brooklyn College is the gateway into productive lives and satisfying careers.”

The morning after he learned of the scholarship, Shenderov, president of the Brooklyn College Chess Team, was on campus, where his club was hosting a blitz chess tournament. An unexpectedly heavy turnout at the tournament and the presence of seven chess grand masters in the Brooklyn College cafeteria seemed almost exciting to this Edward R. Murrow High School graduate as the news of his prestigious scholarship. Besides chess, Shenderov is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society at Brooklyn College, a director of the Brooklyn College Emergency Medical Squad, and a three-time letter-winner on the men’s tennis team. Despite his busy schedule, he still managed to maintain a 4.0 GPA.

The last time a Brooklyn College student received a Rhodes scholarship was in 1991, when philosophy and political science major Lisette Nieves was selected for the award. Nieves and several Brooklyn College professors were recruited by Evelyn Guzman, director of the Office of Scholarships, to help Shenderov with practice interviews to prepare him for the arduous selection process. Shenderov was especially grateful to Guzman for helping him through the procedure. “The first thing I did after I found out I had won was to call home and have my parents give me her number,” he says.

His parents are understandably proud. “Last night, when I got home, my father had printed out this sign and taped it to our front door that said ‘Home of the Rhodes Scholar for 2005,’” Shenderov said, noting that he tore it down as soon as he saw it. “He had even decorated it with a photo of Christ Church College in Oxford that he downloaded from the Internet.”

Shenderov currently receives the Brooklyn College Foundation Presidential Scholarship, the Peter F. Vallone Academic Scholarship, and the Irving R. and Pauline K. Shaw Chemistry Scholarship.

The first Rhodes Scholar ever to hail from a CUNY school was James T. Molloy, a graduate of City College of New York, who was awarded the scholarship in 1939. Raymond Peretzsky, a Queens College student, was selected for the scholarship in 1982. The Rhodes Scholarships were created in 1902 by the will of Cecil Rhodes, British philanthropist and colonial pioneer. The first class of American Rhodes Scholars entered Oxford in 1904.